TRICARE FAQs: Protecting Your Child Against COVID-19

6/2/2020

Do you have questions about how the national health emergency due to the pandemic affects you or your child’s TRICARE benefit? You can find answers to your frequently asked questions (FAQs) and more on the TRICARE Coronavirus FAQs page.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about children and COVID-19:

Question: How can the infection be prevented in children?

Answer: Depending on your child’s age, his or her immune system may not be as strong as yours. So, it’s very important to practice healthy habits regularly. Children should clean their hands often using soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. They should also use tissues if they cough or sneeze. After using tissues, they should throw them away and wash their hands. Be sure to keep your child away from people who are sick. Remember to keep your child up to date with scheduled vaccinations, like the MMR vaccine and flu shot.

Question: Are symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than adults?

Answer: They’re pretty similar. Children have the same cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. In some cases, they may experience mild symptoms, like diarrhea or vomiting, before getting a fever. “There’s much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children,” according to the CDC.

Question: Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?

Answer: Treatment is similar for that of the flu. Children with COVID-19 should rest and drink plenty of fluids, including water, soup, and juice. Children and their family members should try to prevent the spread of infection by covering coughs, washing hands often with soap and water, staying up to date on vaccinations, and maintaining social distance wherever possible.

Question: My child needs to get her immunizations for school. What can I do get her the shots she needs?

Answer: While it’s unclear if distance learning will continue into the fall, it’s important to make sure your child is immunized to protect their health and the health of other students. Call your provider or local military clinic to get your child the shots she or he needs. There may be different procedures in place to limit COVID-19. At pediatric clinics, newborns, infants, young children, and those prone to infection are likely to get shots before older children with routine needs. At adult clinics, the priority is for those who are prone to infections. Rabies post-exposure treatment is the only immunization considered urgent. These shots have the highest priority for care. Also, some schools are allowing delays in immunization dates. Learn more about immunizations by going to the Medical Care FAQ topic.

You can learn more about the preventive services for children that TRICARE covers, like immunizations, on the TRICARE website. If you have questions about costs related to certain services, remember you can refer to the TRICARE Costs and Fees Sheet. This resource describes a number of the costs for various health visits. For more on COVID-19 FAQs related to children, go to the CDC website.

The TRICARE Coronavirus FAQs page is updated often, so be sure to check back for new information. As you continue to ask important questions, TRICARE is committed to getting you answers. Stay safe, and stay informed.

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Last Updated 6/23/2020